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Two Resource Allocation Secrets For Improved Agency Security

By John Dillard

The Secrets To Strategic Resource Allocation For Improved Federal Agency SecurityIt’s one of the most difficult skills to master when it comes to federal agency security, suitability and insider threat detection: how to allocate your resources effectively. 

No matter whether you’re at an intelligence, human capital or defense agency, measuring the value of different security investments is difficult at best. This difficulty compounds when determining resource allocation for those various investments. 

Making your decisions even more complicated is the single most important security metric: protecting lives. After all, how much more money is spent on gates versus an insider threat detection algorithm in order to protect one more life at your agency or military installation? It’s a challenging question to answer, but one you must be prepared for. 

For example, if you’re an agency executive for a major military branch, you must decide how much of your security budget to invest in physical security, information security, insider threat detection and cyber security. Within each of those categories, you also have to determine spending for individual facets like IT, procedures and personnel. 

Strategic resource allocation involves complex decisions with many interrelated aspects – so you need an approach that addresses the complexity without downplaying the importance of every penny you spend. 

Here are two resource allocation secrets to help you improve organizational security at your agency without being overwhelmed by competing priorities: 

Secret #1: Risk Pricing 

When it comes to security resource allocation, the first step to a successful strategy is risk pricing. The insurance industry and even federal agencies like FEMA and the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) community have mastered the art of pricing risks in a quantifiable way – and it’s time your agency did as well. 

With quantifiable prices for different risks, your agency allocates resources more effectively to reduce the highest-price security incidents. This means you need risk-based resource allocation models and tools that help you invest your budget wisely according to quantifiable risk factors. Your ultimate goal with these risk analysis tools should be to reduce your level of risk by a factor of five. 

Secret #2: Risk Portfolio Analysis 

The second secret to security resource allocation is risk portfolio analysis. A robust portfolio analysis helps security executives like yourself address quantified risks in a holistic manner and not just on an individual basis. 

Many executives shy away from risk portfolio analysis, claiming that you can’t place a quantifiable value on saving a human life. While that’s true, you shouldn’t use human value as an excuse to delay tough decisions regarding agency security investments. As a federal security executive, you have the responsibility to choose the fewest but best programs that lessen your organization’s risk factors – because human lives depend on making those choices. 

Using a risk portfolio analysis approach, your resource allocation efforts should account for the cost of each particular project or program and weigh these costs against the expected benefit of your project investments. Often, the best way to evaluate and consider your overall risk portfolio is to use data analysis tools and measurements that simplify your decisions instead of muddling them.  

Successful resource allocation is all about robust risk management, whether those risks are espionage, information leaks, physical attacks or other insider threats. But it doesn’t matter what or whom you’re trying to protect against; if you’ve allocated your resources effectively, you should have nothing to worry about. 

Does your federal agency need to improve operations within a limited schedule and budget? Click below to download this e-book from Big Sky Associates and discover how to make process improvement efforts that are cost-effective for your budget. 

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